Onnoghen says he deserves an Apology from FG
The Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN) of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was suspended , on Friday, demanded an apology from the Federal Government for dragging him before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, for trial over his alleged failure to properly declare his assets.
Justice Onnoghen The CJN who was temporarily removed from office by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 25 owing to allegations against him, said he deserved an apology since FG failed to tender any credible evidence before the tribunal to establish that he committed any offence known to the law.
Declare your assets publicly, Afenifere tells Buhari He described the totality of exhibits FG adduced to support the six-count charge it preferred against him at the CCT as “hearsay, irrelevant and useless evidence”. According to him, “there is nothing proved”.
Consequently, Justice Onnoghen, urged the Mr. Danladi Umar led three-member tribunal to discharge and acquit him of all the allegations that were levelled against him in the charge, insisting that he has no case to answer. The defendant made the application through his team of lawyers led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, after he prayed the tribunal to uphold the no-case-submission he filed with respect to the charge against him.
He argued that the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, which purportedly recommended his trial, did not substantially comply with the constitution that it derived its powers from. “There is evidence on record that the CCB did not substantially comply with the law. “Even if there was non declaration, there must be verification. That was not done. There is no offence known to the law in this matter“, Awomolo argued. More so, he noted that some of the exhibits were irrelevant to the case before the CCT since they were procured by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Relying on earlier decision of the tribunal in a similar charge FG filed against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the CJN, argued that neither the EFCC nor the Department of State Service, DSS, have a role to play in relation to proceedings before the CCT. Justice Onnoghen observed that most of the documents FG tendered through the three witnesses that testified before the tribunal, emanated from the EFCC.
“It is our submission that this document addressed to EFCC in the tribunal’s proceeding is illegal and your lordship should not countenance an illegal document”. He drew attention of the panel to the oral testimony of FG’s star witness, PW-1, Mr. James Akpala who is a senior investigative officer at the CCB, to the effect that the Bureau had a Register were details of public officers that submitted their asset declaration forms were documented.
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